In a time of tremendous change, retailers who are growing older have to make hard decisions about what they want to do with their businesses, said Centurion newsletter editor Hedda Schupak, at a seminar entitled “Too Old to Start Over but Too Young to Retire? Strategies to Balance Risk and Reward Amid Constant Change.”
Schupak gave her talk at the American Gem Society Conclave, which started on April 23 and concludes today, at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.
“Everything is changing,” Schupak said. “More has changed in our industry in the last 30 years than in all the time leading up to that.”
She added that older people in the industry are “are being told everything we know how to do is irrelevant. And we have to learn whole new thing.”
She said listeners should jot down who their best customers are, what they like about being a jeweler, and what they don’t like about being a jeweler.
“Sometimes just the act of writing something down and seeing it on paper can give you a great deal of clarity,” Schupak said.
She said that some jewelers may have hard decisions to make about their companies, while some might feel guilty about closing generation-old businesses. In the end they have to do what is right for them.
“Closing your business or changing how you do business is a decision, it is not a failure,” Schupak said. “It’s your business. And you have the right to change it.”
She said jewelers who do stay in business need to think about doing things outside their comfort zones.
Schupak advised attendees to “start exploring less formal lines of jewelry. We need a lot more price points that can compete comfortably with high-end designer bags and shoes.”
She added that lab-grown diamonds can represent a possible opportunity, particularly for cash-strapped millennials. It might help them develop a taste for natural gems, Schupak said.
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